This may be old news to some of you, but I still think it qualifies as Awesomeness! Scholastic has recently re-launched its Dear America series, complete with new covers and - the best part - three brand new additions to the series! They are Piper Davis, Lydia Pierce, and a returning character, Abigail Jane Stewart.
The Dear America series was one of my favorites in elementary and middle school; I read all of the diaries that I could get my hands on, and at one point I had read every single one of the related Royal Diaries. But on to the new books:
The Fences Between Us by Kirby Larson (Sep. 2010)
Piper Davis lives with her father and older sister in Seattle, Washington. Her older brother has recently joined the navy, and he is stationed at Pearl Harbor. It's a perfectly safe place to be, right? But then December 7 comes along, and Piper's world is turned upside down. Adding to the stress of having a brother in the armed forces, her friends and neighbors are being sent to internment camps. See, Piper's father is the minister of a Japanese Baptist church, and the Davis family lives in a Japanese community. Which side is right, the side that says Japanese are the enemies or the side that says they're just like any other Americans?
Like the Willow Tree by Lois Lowry (Jan. 2011)
Personally, this is the one that sounds the most interesting to me. Lydia and Daniel Pierce are siblings who are orphaned by the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. They are sent to a Shaker community, where they must deal with the unfamiliar, and often restrictive, religious and social beliefs of their new home.
Cannons at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory (May 2011)
Abigail Jane Stewart, the diarist of The Winter of Red Snow, returns in this book. When Abigail's father joins the Continental Army, her family becomes camp followers. What trials and hardships await a family following the troops?
The Fences Between Us is the only one of these three new books that I have had the opportunity to read. A review is forthcoming, as well as a giveaway (in the March "Lucky Leprechaun" giveaway hop) of an extra copy that I received.